Water/Sewer Back-Up Coverage

Today we’ll address an issue that affects most people who own a home here in Michigan, particularly in the springtime: sewer and sump pump back-up.  Most homes in Michigan have basements, which a lot of us like to utilize as additional living space.  Therefore, many basements are finished with drywall, carpeting, flooring, and lighting, and are furnished with plush couches, easy chairs, and hi-tech home entertainment systems.  And if you own a home built within the past 25 years or so, it’s likely you have a drainage system requiring a sump pump.  So what happens when a power outage occurs during a storm and your sump pump can’t operate?  Or what happened recently, day after day of steady rain combined with melting snow inundates sewage systems?  I’ll tell you what happens: basements flood.

Pretty much everyone carries insurance on their home, and it’s assumed that homeowners policies cover losses such as this. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.  The vast majority of policies require a special endorsement to cover losses due to water that backs up through sewers, drains, or sumps.  So if you have a basement with improvements and property that could result in a substantial monetary loss should a water backup occur, it’s important to find out whether or not your policy has such an endorsement.  And if you already have this coverage, or are planning on adding it, it’s also important to make sure the dollar limit of the endorsement is enough to pay for the damages.  Additionally, you should make sure it covers not only losses to the basement itself, but also losses to the contents (some policies actually exclude damage to contents).  Contact your agent today!